Wild Salmon with Warm Chickpea Salad and Cranberry Pickle

An Ocean Wise recipe from chef Ned Bell.

cranberry salmon

We understand that even the boldest of cooks can be intimidated by the prospect of buying and cooking fish. But Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise executive chef Ned Bell says it’s actually really straightforward once you get rid of all of the things that don’t matter. “‘How do I cook fish is probably the most common question I get,” says chef Ned Bell. “I always say that it all comes down to the quality of the fish before you do anything to it at all: fresh, wild, sustainable seafood is incredibly easy to make delicious.”

Rainy autumn on the west coast of Canada can be very gloomy and grey. Warm, nutritious, simple and exceptionally seasonal, this wild salmon with warm chickpea salad and cranberry pickle recipe is perfect for gatherings of friends and family. This is sure to be a dish that you return to more than once and even adapt to incorporate different ingredients as the seasons serve them up.

Wild B.C. salmon

• 4 5 oz pieces of your favourite fresh Ocean Wise fish

Warm chickpea, hazelnut, and laird lentil salad

• 1 cup cooked laird lentils
• 1 cup cooked chickpeas
• 1 shallots, diced
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 3 tbsp toasted hazelnuts
• 1 tsp sea salt

Cranberry and honey “pickle”

• 3 cups frozen cranberries
• 1 cup dried cranberries
• 1/4 cup honey
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp cracked black pepper
• 1 cup cranberry juice
• 3 tbsp red wine vinegar

1. Pan sear, BBQ or grill the fish for about 2-3 minutes per side, season with Vancouver Island sea salt and cracked black pepper.
2. Make the salad: in a saute pan, sweat the shallots with the olive oil, add the sea salt, the lentils and the chickpeas, add the hazelnuts last.
3. Cook everything together in a small pot for 15 minutes, cool before serving. This cranberry and honey “pickle” is also great on grilled fish, Ocean Wise seafood or grilled veggies. Also great on cheese plates or over vanilla ice cream.
4. Build your plate with the warm salad, place the salmon on top, add the cranberry pickle and enjoy.